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Exeter Bike Bus - Ride Reports - January 2012

Tuesday 31 January - Nowhere?

Ian in snow.jpg
Richard in snow.jpg

Ian reports:-

No official ride this week, due to forecast cold temperatures and ice.

However, the ice didn’t appear too bad in Cullompton, so Richard and Ian went off for a swift 80 miler to Exmoor (Ian chickened out and just did 50+!!!).

We managed to stop at The Orchard Inn at Oake – food looked good, fire was on!! – 19 pts

Next week, North Curry with the Wellington Wheelers (ice allowing!!)

Thursday 26 January - Padbrook Golf Club, Collumpton

Kirby's bike

Last week, in a carefully designed scissor movement two Bike Buses were scheduled to meet at the New Inn in Broadcylst - where passengers could choose their onward route to Collumpton.

It was not to be ... shortly after the Exeter Bike Bus arrived at the rendezvous we received intelligence that the Alylesbeare Bus had no passengers and that the driver was having mechanical trouble. Maybe he should go on a maintenance course? I'm sure that it will not surprise you that John has been given the first Black Sheep Award of the year.

Whilst I was enjoying a coffee in the Golf Club someone sneakily took a photo of my bike and posted it on Facebook.

Johns route to honiton.png
Stephanie warming pies.jpg

Soon after rumors surfaced that Facebook is expected to file papers for an initial public offering. Indications are that the IPO will suggest the company is worth $75 billion to $100 billion. Is there some connection?

After coffee a small party decided to go to Honiton for lunch.

In a (vain?) attempt to redeem himself John (who had by now arrived in Cullompton) offered to lead.

Some two hours later we were still aimlessly wandering round lanes somewhere near Escot ... when Stephanie perked up and said "I know where we are ... I live here".

Stephanie led us to then new village shop where Don & John purchased pies and pasties. We then repaired to Stephanie's warm kitchen for welcome hot drinks.

Tuesday 24 January - Trago & Doddiscombleigh

Ian explains:-

Never ending sunshine?

After the weather forecast of never ending sunshine, it was surprising that only Huw and Ian turned up for today’s ride. Huw had a few technical issues first thing, but we eventually got underway and made up the lost time on the way to the Swing Bridges.

Having encountered no passengers, we proceeded to Trago (via Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot) where there was a good turn out from the TVPB for Pottsie’s and Sturmey Archer’s birthday. Having explained several times why there were only 2 from the Exeter group, we tucked into the Trago fayre. Quality not great, but value for money superb. £1.99 for a full English, £1.35 for a 3 rasher Bacon Sandwich!! – 19 pts.

Onwards, where we bashed our pedals up the Teign Valley, to have lunch at Doddiscombleigh. Just so happened, there was a pub there called The NoBody Inn, so not wanting to be rude, we popped in for a light ale. Food looked a little pricey for a cyclist’s lunch, but they did sell batter coated deep fried chilli flavoured broad beans. We didn’t try any!! – Beer was good and the log burner was on, so 17 pts.

After some childish behaviour (which luckily didn’t end up with Huw having to go to A&E this time!), things settled down as we transited Exeter and returned to Cullompton.

70+ miles covered – next week Dartmoor!!!!

PS – Devon Bike Builders now has a titanium Van Nicholas bike as a demonstrator – just ask Ian if you’d like to try it out!!

Something you never thought would happen in your Lifetime

Old mobile phone.jpg

Some things you think will never happen in your lifetime ...

... and then they do! This was one of those things!!

Almost unbelievably Roger has now got a mobile phone ... and has been transported into the later part of the 20th Century!

Roger was hoping to keep his number secret ... so that no one could call him ... but he didn't reckon with Bike Bus Intelligence.

I'm really, really sure Roger would like to receive your txts ... his number is 07586 319 582.

Disturbingly Roger reports that his new phone is interfering with the solar panels on his roof and his digital radio (I may have got that bit wrong).

Thursday 19 January - Crediton Station Tea Rooms

Kirby's leg
Glenis route sheet.jpg

Today's ride was notable for wet and muddy roads. Although no rain came from the sky - plenty of filthy water was lying on the roads.

Also noteworthy were the efforts of the disgraced Complaints Officer to curry favour with the Bike Bus Executive.

This week she made a point of prominently displaying the Bike Bus timetable on her handlebars. Of special note was - that she had not only reproduced the timetable for the route she was on - she had also printed all the other routes for the day. Whether this was to help hopelessly lost cyclists is not clear.

Steph banana cover.jpg

It was also noticed that Stephanie was using her carefully crafted saddle cover to hold her banana!

After coffee people went every which way. Alan led a brave party over Whitestone Hill. Pauline led a group straight back to Exeter and John took the northern route to Killerton. The National Trust has decided to close Killerton down for the month of January - so a party of five made their way to the Red Lion in Broadclyst for a late lunch instead. Judy made her apologies saying she had to look after a sick dog (I may have got that bit wrong).

Tuesday 17 January - Nowhere!

The Tuesday Bike Bus didn't go anywhere!?

Sarah reports:-

Ian woke up early as normal, and leapt up to look out of the window, rummaged in the airing cupboard, and then said "Where is my thick woolly vest?"

I pointed out that it was (festering) in the washing basket.

"What's it doing there?" said Ian.

"You put it there" I replied.

Ian then pointed out that the ground was covered in a thick frost and that he would be risking hypothermia if he went out on his bike without a vest.

I said "Yes dear".

Bacon buttie.jpg

I think this confused him and he got back into bed ... although I did detect a tiny sulk.

About an hour later I got up to make my own breakfast and, rather gallantly I thought, made Ian a bacon buttie and a large mug of tea.

Ian subsequently reported.

Miraculously I didn't have to cycle to today's cafe - butties and tea were delivered to me in bed. Thanks Mrs L. another 25 pointer!!

Thursday 12 January - Powderham & Dawlish

Devon by bike..jpg

Quite a crowd gathered to cycle the short distance to Powderham ... so many in fact ... that we had to split into two groups.

Three newcomers attended ... Dave, Wolf and Sandy ... to learn the strange ways of the Bike Bus. Dave had heroically pedalled all the way to the start from Teignmouth.

By careful questioning we discovered that Dave has 'form' ... running a cycle holiday company called 'Devon by Bike'.

Sandy is also an experienced cycle tourist ... having completed the North Sea Cycle route ... Bergen to Shetlands (6,000 km) and Roscoff to Gibraltar via the coast (3,500 km).

En-route Debbie's group met up with Lady Devon, her horses and her dogs ... which gave Mike a chance to demonstrate his 'dog whispering skills'.

After coffee at Powderham a party made their way to Dawlish where lunch was enjoyed in the sunshine.

Pippa's Elbow

Elbow fracture reversed.jpg

Lexi & Graham returned from Spain to celebrate Xmas and the New Year in Devon. On the shortest day they arranged a 100 mile 'solstice ride' from coast to coast.

Unfortunately on the chosen day the roads were a little icy ... and only a few miles from the start there was a pile up involving Tom, Sarah and Pippa.

Pippa suffered a broken olecranon (where have we heard that before?) and will be off her bike for a month. She has now had to learn how to walk ... we wish her a speedy recovery.

Tuesday 10 January - Axminster and River Cottage Cafe

Ian reports:-

River cottage hq.jpg

The 2 Ians left Cullompton at 08h00, meeting Richard and Steve at Feniton. After a climb up and over Stockland hill, they descended into Axminster and the River Cottage Cafe – excellent quality and value if not a little far from Exeter! – 18 pts

A blast down the Axe Valley, before a ride along the Seafront at Seaton. No passengers waiting there, so on through Beer before climbing over Farway Common and a fast run into Ottery St Mary. A final climb of the day out of Ottery and we arrived at Talaton, if not a little soggy, having been mizzled on all day!.

A good lunch with Bike Mini-Bus B (Kirby, Mike, Sue) and C (Keith) and the Welly Wheelers (Ken and Phil), after which everyone went their own way.

Nearly 60 miles covered, next week Newton Abbot.

While Ian was enjoying his trip to Axminster ... Kirby and the Booths decided to arrange a (pleasant) surprise for Don.

Otterton mill.png

Cunningly we organised a short ride going to Otterton Mill ... which we calculated (correctly as it turned out) would tempt Don out on a Tuesday. We then contacted the Ladies Cycling Clubs (see photos) in both Lympstone and Woodbury and arranged a rendezvous at the Mill.

The timing was imaculate ... on arrival Don was welcomed by 20 attractive young ladies ... it made his day!

Thursday 5 January - Cullompton

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This week we were supposed to be going to a new cafe - Cafe Sustain in the Heath Centre in Cullompton. However the rain was pouring down, the River Exe was in spate, and we were experiencing gusts of 55 mph - clearly conditions that no sane or sensible cyclist would venture out in.

However 'sane' and 'sensible' are not adjectives that come to mind when describing the motley crowd that form the group known as 'Bike Bus Passengers'.

In practice the excitement generated by the prospect of a visit to a 'new cafe' was palpable - and a record number of cyclists turned out for the adventure.

However notable by her absence was Yvonne ... who dithered and wrote:-

... do you realise who uses it ... sick people, patients waiting to collect presciptions, doctor's appointments, etc, ...
... the cyclists might return with diseases various, eg plague, beri-beri, etc ...
... are we expected to arrive in surgical masks, gloves, aprons, etc???

The various Bike Bus feeder services met up at New Inn, Broadclyst ... and just two of our number decided to take the easy option and head for the regular Coffee Pot meet at Bernaville Nurseries.

Ian's route

The foolhardy multitude continued to battle the wind and rain all the way to Cullompton. The effort proved worthwhile as it turned out the cafe is run by a very nice lady from Uffculme Mill - and everyone enjoyed fresh coffee and cakes.

After coffee Ian offered the choice of a 'hilly route' or a 'very hilly route' to Broadhembury. I reasoned that the 'hilly route' couldn't be that bad as there aren't any hills between Collumpton and Broadhembury. How wrong can you be! Wiser heads saw things differently and only a party of four joined Ian for the trip to the Post Office cafe.

Meanwhile the wimps had set off to Killerton .. only to find the cafe closed. Maybe there's some moral there ... but I rather doubt it.

Keith's Leadership Attempt - An Update

Keith adjusting his under-shorts

You may recall Keith's abortive attempt just before Xmas to become a Bike Bus Leader. At the time he wrote:-

Having never led a bike bus ride before you can imagine how very honoured I felt when John Rowland, concerned he might not be in a fit state after his Christmas revelries on the Isles of Scilly, delegated his leadership of this ride to me. I rose at dawn, like a thousand great leaders before me, ready for action. I even donned fresh under-shorts and my best Lycra, lest I fell, and set off to face the challenges of the elements and the terrain with fire in my belly (there was nothing else there; I had to miss breakfast to get to Aylesbeare in time).

Keith's use of fresh under-shorts caused much comment ... so I contacted Jan who obliged by sending us a photo of Keith setting out. Unfortunately Jan persuaded Keith to wear his under-shorts inside his tights before he departed.

Bike Bus Intelligence has determined that said under-shorts are from Marks & Spencer circa. 1993. It is tribute to Jan's skills as a laundress that they have remained in such good condition over the succeeding 18 years.

Tuesday 3 January - Dartmoor?

Ian reports:-

With the weather forecast of dry and sunny, it was surprising that only 3 riders (Ian, Huw and Richard) turned out for today’s jaunt onto Dartmoor. As it turned out, the weather forecast turned out to be not entirely accurate!!

After a succession of e-mails and texts with excuses of why riders were not coming out to play, Richard gave up the fight against the driving rain into a 30mph (gusting 50mph) headwind, having managed to get halfway up Longdown! (Richard – hope your back is better for Thursday).

We eventually arrived at Moretonhampstead, to the surprise of the cafe owner, who thought we were a little crazy to be out in the Devon weather of the day! – coffee and donuts were good though at the Central Stores Bakery – 20 pts.

We then proceeded via Bovey Tracey to Chudleigh Knighton, where we established ourselves in front of a well hot log burner at the Claycutter Arms – for some reason, the fiver used to buy the drinks was a little damp, but didn’t make any jokes about them being hot of the press back at the factory, so were served in good order – 20 pts.

With all kit dried, we climbed up and over Haldon Hill before having a tailwind all down the Culm Valley to Cullompton (only Huw will understand the joke in this statement!).

70 miles done, next week a ride to Talaton and beyond!

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